vaughn lab

department of anthropology
purdue university


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Vaughn Lab People
Kevin Vaughn
Verity Whalen
Shawna Follis
Beth Gravalos
Marcela Poirier
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Verity Whalen

I am a doctoral candidate whose research interests include the development of complex societies and inequality, societal interaction, colonialism, household archaeology, and the architecture of ritual space. I received my BA from Cornell University in 2006, and have spent five field seasons participating in archaeological research in Central America (2006) and southern Peru (2008-2011).

My Masters thesis entitled “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Community Ritual: Archaeological Implications of the Relationship between Ceremony and Space”, examined archaeological assumptions about communal ritual based on the nature of the built environment, exploring in particular how assumptions generated based on analyses of monumental ritual space in complex societies might shape archaeological interpretations in non-state contexts. The results of my analysis confirmed that archaeologists should employ caution when employing such assumptions, particularly given the fluid nature of sacred vs. domestic boundaries and the changing function of ritual space over (often short) periods of time.

I am currently conducting dissertation research in the south coast of Peru that examines how regional interaction and colonial encounters shaped local community politics and identities in prehistory. Through architectural analysis and excavations of households at Cocahuischo, a site in Nasca, Peru I will investigate the role regional encounters played in the development of Late Nasca leadership and the subsequent Wari colonial encounter. By employing a diachronic approach, I will examine the regional interface that preceded a period of colonialism, providing a more comprehensive understanding of emerging colonial encounters. In particular, through this research I hope to situate a colonial encounter within a historical context of intense interaction between the societies who became the ‘colonizer’ and the ‘colonized’.

 

 

 

The Department of Anthropology offers an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology with an archaeology emphasis. Click here for more information. NOTE: if you are interested in applying to the graduate program to work with Dr. Vaughn, it is imperative that you contact him as early as possible in the application process.

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